Supreme Court notice to Centre, CARA on plea to review adoption policy

‘Government has failed to ensure a record of adoptable children is maintained'

April 22, 2011 11:06 pm | Updated November 28, 2021 09:07 pm IST - NEW DELHI:

The Supreme Court has issued notice to the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) and the Union government on a petition to review the adoption regime in the country, with a particular reference to the status and functioning of the CARA and procedural hindrances.

A Bench of Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia and Justices K.S. Radhakrishnan and Swatanter Kumar issued the notice on Thursday on a petition filed by the Bangalore-based Ashraya and five other adoption agencies.

The petitioners said that according to an article carried in April 2007 in The Times , London, “more than 11 million babies in India are abandoned, of which almost 90 per cent are girls. Most of these would become beggars, prostitutes or menial workers when they attain adulthood. Shockingly, as per official statistics from what is termed a ‘young nation,' the number of these children that are adopted every year is abysmal — just over 3,500…”

The petitioners said The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) had also reported that an abnormally large number of Indian children were exploited and subjected to the worst forms of trafficking, all without the protection of a loving family. They said the CARA was mandated and funded by the government to monitor and regulate placement agencies, encourage timely adoption, avoid unseemly delays and duplication of processes, provide training and facilitate dissemination of research, but it had failed on every single count.

“Families seeking to adopt are left languishing as they wait for months to be given an adoptable child, and the reams of red-tape along with the lure of foreign money ensures that more children are sought to be given to foreign parents than Indian ones, which is contrary to the norm.”

They said the Union government had gravely failed to ensure that a record of the adoptable children was maintained and direct the State governments to register all child welfare institutions as per the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2000. They sought a direction to appoint an independent body of agency representatives, childcare experts, psychologists, physicians, lawyers, sociologists and planners to review the entire adoption regime, with a particular reference to the CARA's status and functioning and the procedural hindrances to an expeditious adoption procedure.

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